scratching bear

If you're on SharePoint 2010 now, should you go ahead and upgrade to SharePoint 2013 or just wait to upgrade to SharePoint 2016?

Here's my advice. SharePoint 2016 preview just came out. The release-to-manufacturing version won't be out until the first quarter of 2016, which I assume means at 11:59 pm on March 31 —  the very end of the third quarter.

Then you're going to get it and you're going to test it because you're not going to trust any of the tests you made on the preview builds.

That's going to take you a couple of months. Then you're going to make a plan to move your content.

So before you actually move any content into SharePoint 2016, it's going to be at least a year out.

If you're on SharePoint 2010 now and you've already started planning for SharePoint 2013, my recommendation is stick with that plan.

That gets you on 2013, so you're not two versions behind. Then you don't have to rush out to SharePoint 2016 when that comes out.

Here, There and in the Cloud

What about upgrading to the cloud — SharePoint online? OK. That's really not an upgrade. It's kind of a migration, although those terms get kind of fuzzy.

But there are some interesting hybrid things you can do in SharePoint 2013. You can put your SharePoint 2013 cloud onto your online tenant. SharePoint 2016 offers this as well, so it makes sense to start moving some of those things.

So upgrade to 2013, move some of your content to SharePoint online, move them into the cloud, and then when your SharePoint 2016 farm goes into production, bolt it to that same tenant and all your stuff will still be there.

Thought You'd Never Ask…

What's your early take on SharePoint 2016 IT Preview? I've had a chance to play with that a little bit over the last week and it's looking pretty good.

Now this is an IT preview and Microsoft has been very clear that it's not shown all the cards in its hand yet. There are a bunch of new things coming. There are a lot of new functionalities that will be there eventually.

This preview is for the IT folks for us, my people, you and I, to kind of get a handle on what the installation looks like and some of the big architectural changes.

If you're an IT pro and you're playing with this, you're going to want to look at MinRole. MinRole is a way to define and give a hard definition to the services that any one server in a farm does and that way, you know you get all the right things turned on that you want turned on.

And then SharePoint says it knows exactly what that server is going do and it can monitor those services, and if a service crashes or something like that or somebody goes in and changes something, it can fix it, which is pretty cool.

There's also a whole lot of hybrid things in SharePoint 2016, though a lot of those existed already in SharePoint 2013.

Large list support has gotten much better, and one of the things that they've done for that — they're constantly changing how things are going in SharePoint — is this ability for SharePoint to assign an index to a list.

So adding an index to a list is something we've been able to do for a while, and that gives SharePoint an idea of what to sort on, what columns we're doing things with, and it lets it handle large lists better.

But before we had to define that and put that in there. And that's probably something we don't all do very often.

SharePoint 2016 has this option now for doing this automatically. There a setting in each list in each library that says "automatically create indices" and if you leave that on — that's the default setting, if you leave that on it will create the indices for you and that speeds up list lookups, it speeds up how it handles large lists and all that.

So that's been a good feature, I encourage you to play with that. But you know it cuts both ways, so now your document libraries are going to get larger, so you need to be able to handle that on the back-end to make sure that you've got that in place.

Now one of the things you can do to test this new thing is to create a list or a library with a few thousand items in it and then just see how it all handles.

So Much More

As always, there's more for you in Podcast 259. So if you're tired of reading, watch the podcast or listen on iTunes

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  Title image by Tambako the Jaguar.